James Harden Addresses Reports of Return to Houston

In case you missed it, the NBA held its much-anticipated Christmas Day games this weekend, including playoff rematches between the Celtics-Bucks and Warriors-Grizzlies. Reports also began circulating about 76ers shooting guard James Harden “seriously considering” returning to Houston as a free agent.

Here’s what happened across the L over the weekend. Let’s get it.

James Harden is Reportedly “Seriously Considering” Returning to Houston:

According to NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski at ESPN, Harden is reportedly considering a reunion with the Rockets if he doesn’t re-sign with Philadelphia as a free agent in July.

However, after the Sixers’ win over the Knicks on Christmas Day, Harden addressed the media and let them know how he really feels about being in Philly.

“I’m here, we’re playing very well, and I don’t know where that report came from,” Harden said, per NBC Sports Philadelphia. “But I’m excited to be here, and we’re playing well. We’re continuing to get better.”

Meanwhile, Harden caught everyone’s attention with this colorful holiday fit. Hide y’all presents.

Joel Embiid and Harden Combine to Score 64 Points against the Knicks:

The Beard (29 points and 13 dimes) and Joel Embiid (35 points) put up a combined 64 points, 12 rebounds, and 14 assists to help the 76ers extend their win streak to eight games with a 119-112 dub over the Knicks on Sunday.

The Sixers outscored the Knicks 24-9 to open the fourth and turned a one-point deficit into a 116-102 lead late in the fourth quarter.

“It was one of those games where you’ve just got to stick around,” Harden said per ESPN. “Like, stick around, stick around, and then fourth quarter, you give yourself a chance.

Jayson Tatum Torches the Bucks For 41 Points while Jaylen Brown Takes Over:

Jayson Tatum posted 41 points, including a ferocious first-half yam over Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Jaylen Brown scored 29 points to help Boston (24-10) reclaim the top record in the League with a 139-118 win over the Bucks (22-11).

Boston grabbed a 100-86 lead after Tatum scored 20 points in the third quarter, and Brown brought the Celtics home with 13 points in the final frame; he also refused to back down after posting a screen that sent the Greek Freak to the ground. Brown and Antetokounmpo had a back-and-forth, but y’all know it’s only basketball. The players don’t take it seriously, and neither should basketball fans.

Boston gave Milwaukee their first three-game losing streak, while the Celtics have now won back-to-back contests after losing five out of six recent games.

Jordan Poole Put Up a Dominate 32 Points to Lead Golden State Past Memphis:

Jordan Poole did what he had to do to play Grinch and ruin the Grizzlies’ Christmas after he dropped a team-high 32 points to lead the Warriors past Memphis on Sunday. Draymond Green (13 rebounds, 13 assists, two blocks) and Klay Thompson (24 points on 8-25 shooting) also put up some solid performances. They played up the burgeoning rivalry they have with Memphis with some sublime shi*t talking toward Dillon Brooks as well.

“He knows that he can’t get a second one. He’s still a young player,” head coach Steve Kerr said per ESPN. “Jordan was fantastic tonight, and we needed his offensive firepower.”

Nikola Jokic Drops a Christmas Day Triple-Double Against the Suns:

Nikola Jokic (41 points, 15 boards, and 15 dimes) dropped his 83rd career triple-double and led the Nuggets to a 128-125 win over the Phoenix Suns. The two-time MVP recorded a 40-point, 27-rebound, 10-assist performance a week ago. It was the fourth 40-point, 15-rebound, 15-assist game in League history. Oscar Robertson (1961, 1962) accomplished it twice, and James Harden did it in 2016.

“Sick,” Aaron Gordon said of Jokic’s outing, per ESPN. “Those are video game numbers.”

Jamal Murray (26 points, five rebounds, and five assists) forced overtime with a game-tying dunk, and Aaron Gordon put the exclamation point on the win with a poster over Landry Shamet.

“Yeah,” Gordon said. “Because of the time and score.”

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